PHOENIX -- Jed Lowrie and Chris Young could find themselves bonding during the next six weeks as each man tries to carve out a role for himself with the A's in spring training.

Both men are established at one position, shortstop for Lowrie and center field for Young. But given the state of the A's roster, both have an excellent chance of spending more time at other positions.

Shortstop has been given to Hiroyuki Nakajima, and center field is the domain of Coco Crisp. Neither position is locked down, but as full-squad workouts begin Sunday, Lowrie and Young would have to be considered major underdogs to play their customary positions.

"It is an uncertain situation," said Lowrie, a starter with the Houston Astros last season when healthy. "I consider myself a shortstop. But I was an All-American playing second base (at Stanford), so it's not like I have no experience there. I prefer shortstop, but I have the opportunity to play for a team that won the division last year, and I like that idea a lot."

The 28-year-old Lowrie, acquired in the Chris Carter trade, will get work at second, third and a little at first in addition to short. For the moment, Young, 29, will be the backup in left, center and right and could see time as the designated hitter.

It isn't going to be easy for either man, manager Bob Melvin said.

"I'll map it out so he'll know a few days in advance where he'll be playing," Melvin said of Lowrie. "He'll know one day he'll be in 'X' spot and another day he'll be in 'X' spot. I talked to him about it. He didn't complain. And I told him things will work themselves out this spring."

Lowrie will share playing time with Nakajima during the first full week of camp, which starts Sunday. As the spring goes along, Nakajima will stay at short and Lowrie will move to second, third and perhaps first.

"Nakajima has played some at second base in the World Baseball Classic," Melvin said. "But we brought him here as a shortstop. He came to me and said he'd do whatever we need him to do, but for now, let's go with him at shortstop."

Lowrie has a better chance of being a starter at second base, where he is competing with Scott Sizemore, Jemile Weeks, Adam Rosales and perhaps Eric Sogard.

Young, a former All-Star center fielder with the Arizona Diamondbacks, doesn't appear to have as good a chance to become a starter, unless it's as the designated hitter or he and Crisp split time between center and D.H.

That's a bit of a comedown, but so was the 2012 season, when Young's power production (14 homers and 41 RBIs) fell to half of his production of 2010 (27 and 91).

"That will be hard for him," Melvin said of Young adjusting to left and right fields. "There is pride involved. For now, the days he'll get in center will be the days Coco has off."

  • There is an outside chance the A's will go with a platoon at first base, although the spring starts with Brandon Moss penciled in as an everyday player. Both he and Daric Barton, who started for a chunk of 2012, are left-handed.

    Outfielders Michael Taylor and Shane Peterson, seeing the crowded outfield, already are working some at first base. Melvin said another outfielder, Seth Smith, is open to playing there, too.

    "Moss has the ability to be an everyday player," Melvin said. "You saw some ability to hit left-handed pitchers last year. We have options at first base, but there's a good chance Moss is going to be an everyday guy."

  • Sizemore and his wife, Brooke, are parents for the first time with the birth Friday of their daughter, Layla. It's not clear if Sizemore will be on the field Sunday for the A's first workout.

  • Outfielder Yoenis Cespedes and infielders Addison Russell and Darwin Perez were supposed to fly to Phoenix on Saturday and be in uniform Sunday morning. The club also is awaiting the arrival of pitcher Michael Ynoa, who has to stay in the Dominican Republic until his bout with chickenpox has run its course.

  • Pitcher Bartolo Colon is looking "the same" to Melvin, which is a good thing. "He did pitch some winter ball, but we don't worry about him as far as innings go," the manager said.

  • The intensity in camp is, as one might expect, at a relatively low level with opening day six weeks away. But there are exceptions.

    "I'm impressed by the fact that every time (right-hander) Ryan Cook doesn't hit the glove, he's upset," Melvin said. "He's made serious strides from last year."